Use of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in Cub Scouts and all Scouting programs is designed to help emphasize the unity of the Scouting movement. This helps fulfill Scouting’s mission and vision statements, both of which mention the Scout Oath and Scout Law:
Vision Statement: The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Age-Appropriate Expectations for Learning the Scout Oath and Scout Law
The concepts of the Scout Oath and Scout Law are difficult to master, but they are not so difficult that a Cub Scout cannot begin the journey. In the beginning of the Cub Scout’s journey, don’t expect him to memorize. The Scout Oath and Law are printed on the back cover of the handbooks. Use the handbook or a poster as an aid to reciting.
You can also use older Scouts and adults as mentors to help bring your Cub Scouts along at a pace comfortable for their learning needs.
The following descriptions can help you explain the meaning of the Scout Oath and Scout Law to Cub Scouts:
The Meaning of the Scout Oath
ON MY HONOR
Saying “On my honor” is like saying “I promise.” It means that you will do your best to do what the Scout Oath says.
The Scout Oath has three parts. Let’s look at what they mean.
TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD AND MY COUNTRY AND TO OBEY THE SCOUT LAW
A duty is something you are expected to do. At home, you might be expected to make up your bed or take out the trash. You also have duties to God and to your country. You do your duty to God by following the teachings of your family and religious leaders. You do your duty to your country by being a good citizen and obeying the law. You also promise to live by the 12 points of the Scout Law, which are described here.
TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES
Many people need help. A friendly smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. By doing good deeds, you make our world a better place.
TO KEEP MYSELF PHYSICALLY STRONG, MENTALLY AWAKE, AND MORALLY STRAIGHT
The last part of the Scout Oath is about taking care of yourself. You stay physically strong when you eat the right foods and get plenty of exercise. You stay mentally awake when you work hard in school, learn all you can, and ask questions. You stay morally straight when you do the right thing and live your life with honesty.
The Scout Law has 12 points. Each one is a goal you should do your best to achieve.
A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY.
A Scout tells the truth and keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
A Scout is LOYAL.
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and country.
A Scout is HELPFUL.
A Scout volunteers to help others without expecting a reward.
A Scout is FRIENDLY.
A Scout is a friend to everyone, even people who are very different from him.
A Scout is COURTEOUS.
A Scout is polite to everyone and always uses good manners.
A Scout is KIND.
A Scout treats others as he wants to be treated. He never harms or kills any living thing without good reason.
A Scout is OBEDIENT.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and pack. He obeys the laws of his community and country.
A Scout is CHEERFUL.
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout is THRIFTY.
A Scout works to pay his way. He uses time, property, and natural resources wisely.
A Scout is BRAVE.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He stands for what is right even if others laugh at him.
A Scout is CLEAN.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is REVERENT.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.